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religion against Jews and Gentiles, endeavour to convince the world by all rational ways, both of the truth and reasonableness of the Christian religion; and though the Apostles were divinely inspired, yet the Bereans are commended for enquiring into the reasons of believing that doctrine which they taught ; and where infidelity in Scripture is charged as a crime, it is where sufficient reason and evidence was offered for conviction.
Q. What then is the use of reason in religion?
A. It discovers to us the principles of natural religion, and justifies the wisdom and prudence of acting according to them. It shews the conveniency of things to our natures, and the tendency of them to our happiness and interest; and as we are thereby convinced, that piety towards God, that justice, gratitude, and mercy towards men, are agreeable to our natures, so reason discovers to us that these duties are good, because they bring benefit and advantage to us. And as to revealed religion, reason is the faculty whereby the evidence and proof of it is to be tried; the proper exercise of it in a Christian is to examine and inquire, whether what is proposed and required to be believed is revealed by God; whether it comes with the true credentials of his authority, and hath him really for its author. For our assent to any thing as revealed by God, must be grounded upon evidence that it comes from him. And when by proper arguments we are convinced of the divine authority of the revelation, reason assists us in discerning the true and genuine sense of such a revelation, and helps us to apply general rules contained in it, to all manner of special cases whatsoever. And when we are satisfied that a doctrine is revealed by God, though it is above the reach of our comprehension, yet we have the strongest and most cogent reason in the world to believe
it: because God is infinitely wise and omniscient, and therefore cannot be deceived; and being infinitely good, we may be sure he will not deceive us.
FOR A STEDFAST FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY.
O Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God, have mercy upon me a miserable sinner.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the divine Majesty to worship the unity: I beseech thee that thou wouldest keep me stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend me from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO THE HOLY TRINITY.
It is very meet, right, and my bounden duty, that I should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Almighty, everlasting God, who art one God, one Lord, not only one person, but three persons in one substance; for that which I believe of the glory of the Father, the same I believe of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality. Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, I laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee and saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen.
FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE CHURCH.
O Lord, I beseech thee to keep thy church and household continually in thy true religion ; that they who do
lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace, may evermore be defended by thy mighty power, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO THE HOLY TRINITY. GLORY be to thee, O God the Father, for making man after thy own image capable of loving thee, and enjoying thee eternally; for recovering him from a state of sin and misery, when he had lost and undone himself.
Glory be to thee, O God the Son, for undertaking the wonderful work of man's redemption ; for rescuing him from the slavery of sin, and dominion of the devil; for, in order to accomplish this miracle of goodness, thou didst descend from heaven, put on the form of a servant, live a miserable life, and die a painful and accursed death.
Glory be to thee, O God the Holy Ghost, for those miraculous gifts and graces thou didst bestow upon the Apostles ; and for those ordinary gifts, whereby sincere Christians are enabled to work out their salvation; for thy preventing and restraining grace ; for subduing our understandings and affections to the obedience of faith and godliness; for inspiring us with good thoughts, and kindling pious desires in our souls; for assisting us in all the methods of procuring eternal happiness.
Blessing and honour, thanksgiving and praise, more than I can utter, more than I can conceive, be given unto thee, O most adorable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all angels, all men, all creatures for ever and ever. Amen.
ST. BARNABAS THE APOSTLE.
JUNE 11. Q. What Festival does the church celebrate this day? A. That of the Apostle St. Barnabas.
Q. What account is there of his origin?
A. That he was born at Cyprus, and descended of the tribe of Levi, whose Jewish ancestors, probably, fled thither in the troublesome times in Judæa, to secure themselves from violence and invasion.a name was Joses, a softer termination, familiar with the Greeks for Joseph; given him at his circumcision in honour of Joseph, one of the great patriarchs of that nation.
Q. Why was he by the Apostles surnamed Barnabas, which signifies the son of consolation ?
A. Some think for his eminent prophetic gifts, and his dexterity in managing troubled minds ; for he was a good man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost. Though if we consider the occasion of imposing this name, it seems to have been an honourable acknowledgment of his charity, in selling his whole estate for the relief of the poor Christians, and upon the account of the consolation they received thereby.
Q. Where was he educated ?
A. His parents being rich and pious, he was sent to Jerusalem to be trained up in the knowledge of the law, and was committed to the care of that great doctor Gamaliel ; which probably might lay the foundation of that intimate friendship which was afterwards contracted between this Apostle and St. Paul.
Q. When was he converted to Christianity ?
A. The particular time is uncertain, though by the ancients he is generally esteemed one of the Seventy disciples chosen by our Saviour. And he gave an early proof of his Christian zeal, in selling his lands for the support of his Christian brethren. And though he was
of the tribe of Levi, to whom the Mosaic law allowed no particular possessions; yet we may reasonably suppose this estate was his patrimonial inheritance at Cyprus, where the Jewish constitutions did not take place.
Q. What assistance did St. Barnabas give St. Paul after his conversion ?
A. When the Christians at Jerusalem were not thoroughly satisfied with St. Paul's change, apprehending it might be only a subtle art to ensnare them, St. Barnabas introduced him to the Apostles, and declared to them the manner of his conversion, and what evidence he had given of it at Damascus in his bold disputations with the Jews.
Q. What was his first employment in the service of the church?
4. News from Antioch being brought to the church at Jerusalem, that many in that city had embraced Christianity, St. Barnabas was sent to settle this new plantation. Upon his arrival he rejoiced extremely to see what progress the gospel had made among them, and not only exhorted them with purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord, but by his labours added many to the church ; and the work growing too great for a single hand, he went to Tarsus, and engaged St. Paul to return with him to Antioch, where they both laboured together a whole year in the establishment of that church.".
Q. When were the followers of Jesus called Christians?
A. About this time at Antioch. They who first embraced the faith were styled disciples or believers, the brethren, or men of the church, or callers upon the